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KLANG, March 23 — The Selangor state government’s large allocations to Islamic institutions shows that religious development is its priority, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said today.
In his speech at Masjid As-Syarif in Meru here today, he said the state Islamic Religious Department (Jais) received over RM400 million and RM106 million in 2017 and 2018 respectively for operational and development purposes.
“Religious development is one of the main agendas of the state government.
“Amidst other developments in the aspects of technology and economy, I want the Muslims in Selangor to continue to rise to the occasion and not be left behind.
“All this I took into consideration before tabling the state’s Budget 2018 last year,” he said before performing Friday congregational prayers at Masjid As-Syarif here.
He also called on Muslims to learn from citizens of other leading Islamic countries like Turkey and Egypt by being more participative in the Islamic donation (wakaf) programme, as it would help boost the economy among Muslims.
Wakaf is a non-compulsory contribution that is encouraged by Islam, especially for Muslims who possess the financial means to do so.
“Wakaf has started to gain traction among Muslims in Selangor, but the reception could be better.
“Other Islamic countries use the wakaf system as a main economic thrust and we need to follow them,” he said.
He added, starting this year, the Selangor state government would hand over the task of overseeing all religious institution development projects to the Perbadanan Wakaf Selangor to replace the prior system of awarding tenders to third-party contractors.
Azmin also called on all mosque committees to be more creative in organising religious programmes to attract a younger crowd.
“We need to get more millennials to start attending spiritual programmes, but we cannot just expect them to come to the mosque if we are not smart in our ways to persuade them.
“Islam has always put emphasis on the role of the mosque, surau and religious institutions as transformational centres so the committee members need to play a more proactive role,” he said.
Also present were Meru state assemblyman Abdul Rani Osman and Klang Municipal Council president Datuk Mohd Yazid Bidin.